Back to Top

How to Use Numbers Effectively in Your Blog Posts

The post How to Use Numbers Effectively in Your Blog Posts appeared first on ProBlogger.

How to Use Numbers Effectively in Your Blog Posts

Photo by Nick Hillier on Unsplash

You’re a blogger, so hopefully you feel confident working with words.

But words alone aren’t enough.

Even if you haven’t been blogging for long (or are yet to start), you’ve probably noticed numbers coming up a lot in other people’s posts.

You often find numbers in post titles such as:

Even if they don’t appear in the post’s title of the post, numbers can be used to order a sequence of steps, when listing a series of tips, or when quoting statistics.

Why Do Numbers Matter So Much?

By using numbers in your post, you’ll come across as a more authoritative source of information.

Numbers also intrigue readers. If you mention “Ten ways”, they’ll want to know what they are. If you tell them you made $2,671 from your first product launch, they’ll want to know how.

Here are four ways you can use numbers in your blog posts.

  1. When sharing your results (or someone else’s), whether it’s traffic, fans, income or anything else you might track.
  2. When providing a statistic. It could be a well-known one, or something quite obscure.
  3. When listing a number of steps to follow. Those steps could be your entire post, or just a part of it.
  4. When sharing several tips or ideas, usually in the form of a list post.

Here’s how they might work for you.

How to Use Numbers Effectively in Your Blog Posts

Photo by marianne bos on Unsplash

#1: Sharing Your Results (or Someone Else’s)

Blog posts that share real-life results are often popular because they show that someone else has succeeded, and give the reader hope that they can too. In the post titles I shared earlier, numbers such as “3,241 Facebook Fans” and “$453k” can help the reader trust your information. It sounds like it must be helpful because it’s so specific.

Tip: Sometimes it’s appropriate to round off numbers (e.g. “My newsletter has more than 20,000 subscribers”). But if you’re sharing your results in a post, specific numbers make it clear the results are accurate.

How to Use Numbers Effectively in Your Blog Posts

Photo by Possessed Photography on Unsplash

#2: Providing a Statistic

It’s easy to give advice on your blog without necessarily backing it up. You may know your niche very well, and therefore know that your advice is accurate. But readers won’t necessarily believe you without evidence. Here’s an example from Copyblogger’s classic post Writing Headlines That Get Results:

On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of the headline, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece.

The statistics make it clear this information is authoritative and grounded in fact, rather than just someone’s opinion about whether or not headlines are important.

Tip: Of course, your statistics need to be accurate and true. Try to find the original source, or an authoritative source such as a government or university website. It’s often a good idea to link to the source as well.

How to Use Numbers Effectively in Your Blog Posts

Photo by Alison Pang on Unsplash

#3: Listing a Number of Steps to Follow

If your post teaches the reader how to do something, or has steps they need to follow in order, it makes sense to number those steps. The reader may well be going back and forth between your post and the task they’re trying to complete, so you should make it easy for them to remember which step they’re up to.

In this type of post, including the number in the title often works well. For instance, instead of “How to Register a Domain Name” you might have “How to Register a Domain Name in Six Easy Steps”.

Tip: Try not to have too many steps. Having 20 or 30 steps may overwhelm the reader, even if each step can be completed relatively quickly. Instead, try to group each action into five to ten separate steps.

How to Use Numbers Effectively in Your Blog Posts

Photo by Sri Jalasutram on Unsplash

#4: Sharing Several Tips or Ideas

This is different to the step-by-step approach in that each tip or idea in your post will probably stand on its own. The reader can tackle them in any order, and may only try one or two of them.

It’s still a good idea to number each one. Not only will it help orient the reader within your post, it will also prove you’ve delivered what you promised (if you used numbers in your title).

Tip: Big numbers can work well in these types of posts. While “100 Steps to Build the Perfect Website” sounds very daunting, “100 Different Ways to Make Your Website Stand Out” sounds like a comprehensive source readers can dip into.

Using numbers in your post (and particularly in your title) may take a few minutes of extra work. But it could result in a much more popular and effective post.

 

Do you already use numbers in your posts? Or is it something you want to focus on a little more? If you’ve got any good tips for using numbers, share them with us in the comments.

This post was originally published 12 December 2017 and updated 28 July 2022

The post How to Use Numbers Effectively in Your Blog Posts appeared first on ProBlogger.

     
Reblogged 1 week ago from feeds.feedblitz.com

8 steps to a successful entity-first strategy for SEO and content

Entity search can be a massive competitive advantage. But you first need to build your entity-based strategy. 

This article will cover how to create a robust entity-first strategy to help our content and SEO efforts.

Most common challenges search and content marketers face

Relevant, topical content, discovery based on customer intent is still the biggest challenge we face as search marketers. 

Content relevancy, in my mind, means the content is personalized, must tell a story, should be scannable, readable, provides images, and the layout can be consumed on any device.

Here are five outcomes we aim to accomplish with content:

  • Discovery: Ensure content is discoverable and available across various customer touchpoints. 
  • Relevancy: Ensure content meets all the searchers’ needs and contains all topics and sub-topics that a searcher cares about, is easy to read and understand and tells a story.
  • Measurability: Content aligned with overall SEO strategy and is scalable and measurable.
  • Experience: Content delivers a great user experience and is scannable.
  • Engagement: Helps drives engagement and guides the visitors to the desired goals – sign-ups, purchases, form fills, calls, etc.

The most common struggle we all face is determining what type of content to create or add. 

Aligning strategies with search engines 

Search engines are evolving and content marketing strategies need to align across all verticals from popularity and quality to the intent behind the query and the overall page experience. 

Search engine priorities, results, algorithms and needs have evolved over time.

Evolution of search engines and impact

As users search on screenless devices and spoken queries increase, search engines use artificial intelligence and machine learning to try and replicate how humans think, act and react. 

Search engines must decode a sentence (or paragraph) long query and serve results that best match it. This is where entities come in.

Entities are things search engines can understand without any ambiguity independent of language. Even when a website has a wealth of content, search engines need to understand the context behind it, identify the entities within the content, draw connections between them and map them to the query of the searcher.

Deploying schemas and marking up the entities within your content gives search engines the context and helps them understand your content better.

A convergence of technology and content

Content, where entities are not marked with schemas, tends to underperform.

Similarly, deploying schemas on content that does not contain all the relevant entities or does not provide all the information will also not have maximum impact.

Entity optimization uses advanced nested schemas deployed on content that meets the searchers’ needs and contains all the relevant topics and entities.

Let’s use a live project as an example and show what we accomplished for one of our clients. 

8 steps to developing an entity-first strategy 

We deployed the eight steps given below as an entity-first-strategy for one of our client in the health care vertical to help them get the best topical coverage and visibility. We started by identifying the most relevant schema in their industry followed by determining the gaps within their content for both schema and entities.  

Eight steps for an entity-first strategy

1. Identified schema vocabulary 

 We created a list of all applicable schemas in the healthcare industry. 

2. Determined the schema gaps 

We identified the schema gaps by comparing the current site content against the applicable schemas. 

3. Mapping schema 

Once we identified the schema gaps, we identified the most relevant pages to deploy the unused schemas.

4. Market opportunity and potential sizing 

We used in-depth keyword research and analysis of current content performance.

Map content based on informational, navigational and transactional content.

It is critical to see how your current branded and non-branded content is performing and what your focus should be based on business goals.  

Market opportunity and potential sizing

We identified the pages that could see the most impact and potential from topic, entity, and schema optimization.

5. Map topic gaps 

Once we identified the best potential pages, we cross-referenced the gaps in the content by analyzing the topics and entities covered by other ranking websites. 

6. Identify Content Opportunities

We enhanced the page architecture by adding relevant content elements, such as images, headings and lists. 

 Page layout showing schema and content opportunities 

Topic/entity gaps covered:

  • care plan
  • Treatment
  • Treatment center
  • ABA services
  • Behavior technician
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • BCBA
  • ABA therapist
  • ABA services

Schema gaps covered:

  • Medical organization
  • SiteNavigationElement
  • Medical clinic
  • availableService
  • hasmap
  • FAQ
  • ItemList

7. Content enhancement 

Optimized the content by incorporating missing topics and entities

8. Create better than the best website page 

We then created the perfect in-depth page, rich with relevant topics the target audience is searching for.

Measuring entity strategy Impact

When we measured the impact of adding entities and schema into our strategy for this healthcare company, we saw a 66% lift in visibility and inclusions in rich results.

Overall impact of new page.

While the above image is just one example of the impact entities and schema can have, you can see below how many different industries benefit by deploying schema and entity coverage. 

Impact of schemas across various industries.

Key takeaways

Creating content is more than writing. It is robust when you add in all the elements from design, development, topical entity coverage and schema. All these elements need to align to give optimum results. 

Keeping organization in mind, cluster pages of relevant content and connect them through pillar pages, ensuring to take advantage of the interlinking opportunities.

Treat each page as the main category page with several relevant pages linked. Adding interlinking helps in discovery and relevancy.

Once you have an entity-first strategy for content, you need to think about how to scale the process of:

  • Understanding the entity.
  • Tagging schema.
  • Pruning broken links or errors as they come.
  • Continuing to add more meaningful content.   
Entity optimization frameworks for large enterprise sites 

In my next article, we will explore how you can deploy, measure and report performance, enhance where needed and scale your entity-first strategy.  

The post 8 steps to a successful entity-first strategy for SEO and content appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Reblogged 1 week ago from searchengineland.com

Google Revenue Verification Report confirms buyer, publisher ad spend

Google has created Confirming Gross Revenue, a new solution to give ad buyers and publishers a way to verify that there were no hidden fees taken from their transactions within Ads Manager.

View the report. Advertisers can view the new Revenue Verification Report to see the total gross revenue received from a specific publisher.

Google says that the ad buyer and media publisher can then come together to verify that the media cost from the buyers’ report matches the gross revenue the publisher received.

The idea here is that if the numbers match, the buyer can assume that their full media spend reached the publisher and no hidden fees were taken.

Early testing. Google is testing the new reporting with Display and Video 360, but are collaborating with other demand-side platforms, sell-side platforms, publishers and agencies to implement similar reporting with other partners.

Thanks, Google? Google claims that (on average) 15% of advertisers’ ad spend is unattributable, and they estimate about half of the revenue from display advertising is kept by the advertising technology providers themselves. While Google Ads doesn’t take hidden fees, Google said they “can’t speak for other companies in the space.”

Even when ads flow through both our buy-side and sell-side services, publishers receive most of the revenue. In fact in 2019, when marketers used Google Ads or Display & Video 360 to buy display ads on Google Ad Manager, publishers kept over 69 percent of the revenue generated. And when publishers use our Ad Manager platform to sell ads directly to advertisers, they keep even more of the revenue.  

Google has also participated in industry transparency standards “across buyside and sellside businesses, like ads.txt / app-ads.txt, sellers.json and SupplyChain Object into Ads Data Hub to help marketers using Display & Video 360 see the steps their impressions took before arriving on a publisher’s site.”

The objective of these transparency initiatives is to give advertisers better visibility into buying decisions and strengthen fraud detection. 

What Google says. “​​Confirming Gross Revenue is one part of our efforts to address concerns over the lack of transparency that we have heard from publishers, agencies, advertisers and regulators. Over the next few months, we’ll continue to work with the industry on shaping this new solution and, more broadly, initiatives to instill more confidence in online advertising. Bringing greater transparency to advertisers, agencies and publishers is core to our approach.  We welcome participation from others who want to work together to advance an ad-supported internet that works for everyone,” according to Allan Thygesen, President, Americas & Global Partners. 

Read the full blog post. You can learn more and read the full post here.

Why we care. Do we? Maybe I’m wrong but I’ve never been fortunate enough to question where my ad dollars are going, and I don’t know any other agencies or advertisers that have. While I don’t agree with some of the websites and platforms my ads end up on, I never considered that mysterious fees were the explanation for any mismatch in revenue reporting.

On the upside, this new report might call out shady behavior of platforms that have been taking hidden fees or a cut of ad spend without the buyer knowing. It doesn’t hurt to check out the new reports if you use Display or Video 360 and see what information they provide about where your ad spend is going.

The post Google Revenue Verification Report confirms buyer, publisher ad spend appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Reblogged 1 week ago from searchengineland.com

Revolutionizing customer experiences at every touchpoint

Providing a memorable and consistent customer experience is more crucial and challenging than ever.

Businesses must consistently adapt by adopting new technologies, reliably benchmarking performance, and listening to critical customer feedback to deliver unparalleled value and achieve positive growth.

Highly personalized, seamless experiences are at the forefront of customer expectations, which means businesses must evolve to provide connected journeys every step of the way. A comprehensive set of solutions that seamlessly mix local marketing and customer experience technology wasn’t available; until now. 

Local marketing and customer experience technology power unparalleled local experiences

Every customer’s experience begins the moment they discover your brand. A customer may conduct an online search to learn more about a business or read customer reviews. The experience doesn’t end once a purchase is made. Customers have the power to be a brand’s best advocate or its most vocal critic – either way those experiences are invaluable. Having the tools accessible to better understand your customers’ pain points allows your business to engage more effectively at every touchpoint and build a loyal following. 

Forsta, the global leader in customer experience (CX), employee experience (EX) and market research, is combining capabilities with Rio SEO, the industry-leading local marketing platform for enterprise brands. Together, the combined technologies power a seamless customer experience solution, enabling brands to engage customers throughout the entire buyer’s journey, from discovery to purchase and through to brand reputation and advocacy.

Rio SEO and Forsta are reshaping the local search landscape by bringing to market the industry’s only end-to-end local marketing and customer experience solution for global enterprise brands.

We call this unique combination Local Experience (LX), and it’s a game-changer for enterprise brands looking to optimize their business and deepen customer relationships.

Rio SEO’s Open Local Platform supplements Forsta’s Human Experience platform by enabling customers to seamlessly expand their customer experience programs into the discovery and consideration phases earlier in the purchase funnel and through to the post-purchase brand reputation and advocacy stage. Rio SEO’s local marketing solutions drive discovery and sales at the local level, at scale and complement Forsta’s technology to support customer engagement and loyalty post-sale.

Forsta’s market research and customer experience solutions, recognized as a Leader in the 2021 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Voice of the Customer, take you from data, to insight, to action by helping you understand your customer, see who they really are, and better respond to their needs.

Enhance your discoverability, attract new customers, and build long-lasting relationships with Forsta and Rio SEO’s LX solutions. Visit rioseo.com/forsta to learn more.

The post Revolutionizing customer experiences at every touchpoint appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Reblogged 1 week ago from searchengineland.com

Seven SEO roles that are key contributors to brand success in 2022

30-second summary:

  • SEO is important for brand success and there are several key roles that contribute to this
  • Some of these roles are obvious, but others are ones you may not immediately associate with SEO
  • Each of these roles has a different but important contribution to make
  • An effective multidisciplinary SEO team will have good communication, clear roles and responsibilities, and realistic expectations
  • By following these tips, you can set your team up for success

SEO is more than just a one-person show. It takes a team of dedicated professionals working together to achieve success. In this article, we will explore the different roles that are key to brand building in 2022.

Whether you’re a CEO who wants to understand why SEO is important for your business brand or an SEO pro who wants to build a case for improving SEO processes at your company, we have you covered.

Why is SEO important for brand success?

There are many reasons why SEO is important for brand success. Here are some of the most important ones:

1. SEO helps you reach new customers

Customers who are actively searching for businesses like yours are more likely to convert than those who stumble upon your website by chance. In fact, organic search is one of the most effective channels for generating leads in 2022.

U.S. organic search visits by engine _ Statista - SEO roles and brand success - why SEO matters

Source: Statista

2. SEO builds trust and credibility

When customers see that your website is ranking high in search results, they will automatically perceive your brand as more trustworthy and credible. This is especially important for small businesses that are competing against larger, well-established companies.

3. SEO drives traffic to your website

The higher your website ranks in search results, the more traffic it will get. And the more traffic you have, the more opportunities you have to convert leads into customers.

4. SEO helps you stand out from your competition

If your competitors are not investing in SEO, then this is a great opportunity for you to differentiate yourself and gain an edge over them.

5. SEO is an ongoing process

Unlike other marketing channels (such as paid advertising), SEO is an ongoing process that needs to be regularly worked on in order to maintain and improve your rankings. This means that it can provide you with long-term results, which is essential for any successful business.

Business roles that are key to SEO success

There are many different roles within a company that contribute to SEO success. Some of them might seem obvious, but some of the others might be roles that you wouldn’t have immediately thought of when considering your SEO. It just goes to show: that SEO strategy is something that can be woven into your business operations at every level.

Here are my top six roles:

1. CFO (or another senior executive that holds the purse strings)

Why? because without a proportion of your marketing budget being ring-fenced for SEO, nothing else matters. The CFO or other senior decision-maker at your company needs to understand the importance of investing in SEO. Without a budget for SEO, none of the other roles on this list will be able to do their jobs properly.

2. Brand designer

This is perhaps an obvious one, but your brand designer mustn’t be overlooked: the person responsible for designing your brand identity should have a good understanding of SEO. This is because they need to create a branding strategy that includes keyword research and other SEO best practices.

Even the name of your brand is important, because it’s an opportunity to get important keywords into your website domain and across your web pages, and it may also be used as anchor text when other websites link to yours.

Side note: you should make sure that SEO becomes part of your next brand audit.

3. SEO consultant

The person responsible for your overall SEO strategy must work towards building your brand.

An SEO consultant is responsible for developing and implementing your overall SEO strategy. This includes researching keywords, optimizing website content, and building links. But it also goes beyond that. A good SEO consultant will also work on building your brand by creating a strong online presence and ensuring that your website is visible to your target audience.

4. Content marketer

The person who has a foot in the SEO camp and a foot in the marketing camp. This might be an in-house role at your company, or it might be a service you outsource.

A content marketer is someone who understands both SEO and marketing. This person is responsible for creating high-quality content that not only ranks well in search results but also resonates with your target audience.

5. Web designer

Why? Because the person who decides what the website design looks like will have a big impact on the SEO friendliness of the website.

The web designer plays a crucial role in determining the SEO friendliness of your website. This is because page design, navigation decisions, and site architecture will all have a huge impact on SEO performance.

6. Web developer

Because technical SEO has never been more important.

Your web developer is responsible for the technical aspects of your website, such as its code and structure. This is incredibly important for SEO because it can impact things like site speed and crawlability.

This is one of the many reasons that using an off-the-shelf website builder is not a viable option for a business serious about its web presence.

7. PR manager

Because this person needs to know how to get the most SEO impact from promoting the company in a traditional PR sense.

A PR manager needs to have a good understanding of both SEO and link building. This is because they need to promote your company in a way that will help you earn high-quality links.

Your PR person will naturally always be looking for ways to get your business mentioned by other publications and websites. This lends itself perfectly to a clever strategy of building backlinks to your website.

Tips for effective multidisciplinary SEO teams

Now that we’ve gone over the various roles that are important for successful SEO, let’s talk about how to build an effective multidisciplinary team.

  • Make sure everyone is on the same page by having regular meetings and communication. This will ensure that everyone is aware of the latest changes and developments.
  • Establish clear roles and responsibilities. This will help avoid duplication of effort and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.
  • Encourage collaboration between team members. SEO is a complex field, and it’s important to have different people with different skill sets working together.
  • Set realistic expectations. SEO takes time, and it’s important to set realistic expectations for what can be achieved.

Following these tips will help you build an effective multidisciplinary SEO team that can help take your brand to the next level.

Final thoughts

SEO is a complex and ever-changing field. But one thing is for sure: it’s only going to become more important in the years to come. If you want your brand to be successful, you need to make sure that SEO is a key part of your overall strategy.

The roles we’ve discussed in this article are all crucial for successful SEO. So if you’re serious about your brand’s online presence, make sure you have the right team in place.


Joe Dawson is Director of strategic growth agency Creative.onl, based in the UK. He can be found on Twitter @jdwn.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

Join the conversation with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The post Seven SEO roles that are key contributors to brand success in 2022 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Reblogged 1 week ago from www.searchenginewatch.com

Social Media Competitor Analysis: The Complete Guide

According to Sprout Social’s survey, 85% of companies rely on social data as a primary source of business insights. And with almost 4.6 million people on social media networks, they are a crucial part of your growth strategy.

It’s no longer news that there’s fierce brand competition — in every industry — roaming the web. So, how do you outcompete your brand competitors and grow your business on social media? By doing social media competitor analysis.

When you learn your competitors’ moves, you find ways to reinforce your brand strengths, improve on your shortcomings, and take advantage of opportunities. In this guide, we’ll go over what social media competitor analysis means, its benefits, the steps to take when performing this analysis, and a list of the tools you need.

What is social media competitor analysis?

Social media competitor analysis is the process of evaluating your competitors on social media to find opportunities and build strategies for brand growth. Performing this analysis allows you to identify your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses to develop a working social marketing strategy. It also reveals relevant information about your target audience, why they’re interested in competitor brands, and how these brands do better at social media marketing.

Why is social media competitor analysis important?

Social media competitive analysis has its own advantages outside the strategy you use to examine your SEO competitors. It allows you to:

1. Understand your ideal clients better

Performing a social media competitive analysis lets you gain deeper insights into who your ideal clients are. Knowing your customer personas empowers you to get more marketing results because you understand:

  • What social media platforms your ideal clients use

  • How they consume content

  • The types of content they’re searching for

  • What pain points they need solutions for

  • What time they’re active on social media

2. Build a better social strategy

When you understand how and why your competitors are performing better than your brand, you can create a working social media strategy, or improve it if you already have one.

A social media competitor analysis challenges you to do your best because it compares your methods and results against the competition. Also, you can identify gaps to leverage for brand growth, and threats you need to deal with.

3. Create relevant content

It’s only natural that your ideal clients choose the brands whose values and content they align with. A social media competitor analysis will make you top of mind among your ideal clients.

This is because you’ll identify the types and formats of content they want to see. Also, you can take advantage of the content gaps you discover to create fresh, valuable content for your audience.

4. Better marketing and positioning

By conducting a social media competitive analysis, you can leverage your social platforms for more effective marketing. When you see what’s working for your competitors, you’ll start to use relevant, underused social media features and strategies.

More so, this empowers you to come up with a positioning strategy to differentiate your brand from the competition — and become an authority in your industry.

Six competitive analysis tools for social media

Alongside your traditional analytics tools, which we’ll talk about later, you need specific social media tools to perform efficient competitor analysis on these platforms. We’ve included six options below:

1. Not Just Analytics

Not Just Analytics, formerly called Ninjalistics, is an analytic tool for Instagram and TikTok. With this social media competitive software, you can monitor the growth of competitor profiles, the hashtags they use, and their engagement rates.

All you have to do is enter your competitors’ profiles into Not Just Analytics and analyze them. For example, after analyzing Isis Brenna’s Instagram profile, marketing strategist for business coaches, here’s what Not Just Analytics displays:

2. SocialMention

Social Mention by BrandMentions is a search engine for collecting user-generated content on social media, blogs, news, and videos.

Once you enter a competitor brand, Social Mention tracks and shows you all the conversations about them — who’s talking about them, what they’re saying, and on which platforms:

3. Socialbakers

Socialbakers is a social media management tool that makes it easy to monitor all your social media platforms in one place. It works best for agencies.

This tool allows you to measure and compare your content performance to improve brand growth. In addition, Socialbakers has free competitor analysis tools for Instagram and Facebook, and you can analyze up to five competitor profiles.

4. Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a suite of social media management tools for better brand marketing. It has scheduling, analytics, and competitor analysis tools for all business sizes and types.

Sprout Social’s competitor analysis feature allows you to monitor your competitors’ audience growth and publishing schedules.

5. Sociality.io

Sociality is a full-service tool for social listening, scheduling, and competitor analysis.

With this social media competitor analysis tool, you can gain insights into your competitors’ paid ad campaigns, social media performance metrics, and content strategy and history.

6. BigSpy

BigSpy is a free tool for analyzing your competitors’ ads on social media. This ad library holds a database of advertisements on different social networks.

BigSpy helps both small businesses and large enterprises find campaign inspiration from their competitors to create better marketing campaigns and social media strategies.

How to do social media competitor analysis

Performing social media competitor analysis doesn’t have to be a hassle. Whether you use Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, or YouTube, here are the five steps to analyze competitor businesses.

1. Figure out your brand goals and metrics

Before examining and comparing competitors’ performances, figure out what you want. It’s important to always start with the end — your brand goals — in mind.

Determine the answers to questions like:

  • What are your goals for marketing on social media?

  • How do these fit into your overall brand goals?

  • What key performance indicators (KPIs) will you track to measure success?

  • Who are the ideal clients you want to reach?

2. Identify your brand competitors

It’s impossible to analyze your competitors on social media if you don’t know who they are or which social platforms they use.

Watch out for both direct and indirect competitors — that is, businesses that offer similar products or services and those that solve the same problem as you. Then, list your top five competitors.

You can find out your competitors by:

Using Moz’s free SEO competitive research tool

Enter your site domain and click Analyze domain. You’ll get a list of your top competitors and keywords you can target. You can head over to their websites, find their social handles, and see what they’re doing.

Using Google search

By using the search engine result page (SERP), you can find competitors ranking for your keywords on social media, although this can be a tasking process.

Enter your target keyword and take note of the websites, and especially social media profiles, that pop up during your search.

For example, if you enter the keyword “launch copywriter,” here’s what you’ll find on page one:

From the screenshot above, the websites ranking are likely competitors for that keyword. However, you need to check their social profiles to see if they are also social media competitors.

For this query, there’s an Instagram profile ranking as the fifth result and the only social media profile on page one. So, if you were looking to build a strong social presence as a launch copywriter, you’d analyze this profile for their strategies.

Searching on the target social platform

If you’re looking to grow your brand visibility for a specific product or keyword on a social media platform, enter the term in the search bar of that platform and go through the accounts or hashtags that pop up to see if there are competitors you’d like to analyze.

Screenshot from Pinterest’s search bar

Screenshot from Twitter’s search bar

3. Collect and analyze data

Data analysis and collection make up the majority of this process. To make it easier, you can choose a convenient analysis tool from the ones mentioned above to study, analyze, and compare the performance of your competitors.

And while you might have your brand KPIs, here are the important social media metrics to track during competitive analysis:

  1. Account reach/impressions

  2. Number of followers

  3. Engagement rates

  4. Social media ads insights

  5. Share of voice

  6. Estimated organic traffic to the page

  7. Quantity of keywords the competitor

Using a simple tool called Keywords Everywhere, figuring out metrics 6 and 7 can be easy.

Install the Chrome extension for this tool. Once done, type “[the social media platform] + [brand name]” in Google Search. Then, move your cursor over the metric kw(us):

For example, when you enter “Instagram.com gucci,” here’s what you get:

This shows that Gucci’s Instagram page ranks for 312 keywords and gets up to 24,600 visits per month.

To further simplify your social media competitor analysis, here are some of the questions you should consider:

  • What is your competitors’ audience growth rate?

  • How does their content strategy look? What content type do they focus on — informational, entertaining, aspirational, or promotional? Which content formats do they use? Is it videos, texts, lives, carousels, etc.? What is their posting schedule?

  • Which posts get the highest engagement, such as likes, comments, and shares?

  • What is their engagement rate, on average?

  • What other social media marketing types do they use, apart from organic promotions? Is it sponsored posts, collaborations, paid ads, referrals, or influencer marketing?

  • How does their hashtag strategy look? Which hashtags do they use? How many, and how often?

Now, compile everything you’ve analyzed so far into a spreadsheet. This makes it easy to track and evaluate data at a glance:

Bonus: instead of creating a spreadsheet from scratch, you can use this social media competitor analysis template by Sprout Social.

4. Create a social media strategy

Data analysis is important when evaluating your social media competitors, but data interpretation is more necessary. Everything in your spreadsheet is only lines, figures, and charts if you don’t know how to use the data collected for business intelligence.

Meagan Williamson, Pinterest marketing expert and business coach says, “When your competitors have impressive metrics, it’s essential to understand what they are doing well to build a better social media strategy. Also, their weaknesses (that is, what they aren’t doing well) can be opportunities for your brand growth. Build a data-driven strategy that allows you to look at what’s working and what’s not, and how you can take advantage of these insights to accomplish your business goals.”

With this spreadsheet information, create a four-part SWOT analysis table for your strategy.

SWOT analysis is a well-thought overview of your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to help you make informed business decisions.

5. Keep tabs on account progress

After doing your social media competitive analysis, that’s not the end. You need to keep tabs on your profile and, of course, the competition. This allows you to:

  • Monitor brand progress

  • Notice new competition quickly

  • See if your social media strategy is working

  • Identify new growth opportunities

  • Keep your marketing plan up-to-date

It’s crucial to stay on top of both industry and social media trends.

Stick to a routine to regularly analyze your social media competitors — whether that’s monthly, quarterly, mid-yearly, or annually. Also, ensure that you update your competitor research spreadsheet to identify new opportunities or threats.

Wrap up

Social media competitive analysis is vital to your brand growth, as it allows you to build a solid social presence, customer trust, and brand credibility.

By mastering the steps above, you can conduct this analysis for any of your social media profiles. Figure out your brand goals and turn analyzed, organized metrics into context-rich insights to improve your social media strategy.

Reblogged 1 week ago from moz.com

What Are the Best Tools for Storytelling With Data Visualization?

Storytelling with data is a crucial part of any content marketer’s toolbox. Whether you are using data visualization to illustrate a point you’re trying to make, or you want to showcase data from an analysis your team has done, proper data design is key to creating effective visuals that everyone is happy with. Charts and infographics can be pretty, but if they aren’t also properly breaking down data in a way that makes an impact on the audience, they are likely not worth the time and effort.

Below, we discuss how storytelling ties into data visualization, and what tools can help you bring more data into your content. We also recently updated our Learn Center article about storytelling with data, to highlight how data transforms our content and legitimizes the points we’re trying to make, no matter the topic. Be sure to check it out for even more insights!

How does storytelling tie into data visualization?

Visualization is the act of taking data and breaking it down in a visual way that helps the audience understand at a glance what the data is telling us. This could be something like taking population data from a town and creating a pie chart that shows the age ranges of all residents or looking at a bar chart to see that the number of apps an average user downloads on their smartphone has slowly increased over time. Then, after this data is introduced, we use storytelling through content to further explain what the data is telling us.

For instance, if we know that the average user downloads two more apps to their phone then they did five years prior, we can deduce that users are likely using their phones more. This can help us introduce our main point or solution, such as an app cleaning utility to help users remove apps they no longer use, or behavioral modifications for users that want to be on their phone less.

The best tools for data visualization

If you’re looking to create your unique data visuals, which is recommended so you don’t use someone else’s data without their permission, there are several tools you can use to gather data that will influence the main points in your content narrative. These free and paid tools range from the following:

  • providing the data for you in a chart format

  • giving you raw data to build into graphics

  • allowing you to import your raw data so you can build the visuals you need to properly summarize the data points

Creating your own data visualizations can help you create imagery that illustrates your point, influences users to take action, or helps you explain your points in a visual way. Whether you need data trends over time or an analysis of your data to determine next steps, these tools can help.

Google Trends

Most SEOs are aware of Google Trends, but almost any industry can use it to get a quick pulse on what is trending in their specific field of products or services. For instance, if you are an e-commerce, you can check out the Google shopping trends to see what products are being searched for most recently. The page also points out large spikes for specific product terms for e-commerce, such as “y2k aesthetic.”

Additionally, Google Trends also shows daily overall trending search topics in specific countries. This is really useful if you’re looking for data that applies to a specific country or the pulse of a certain area overall, such as music or current events.

The main section of Google Trends allows you to compare multiple topics as once to see how user interest has ebbed and flowed over time.

Screenshot of trend lines for cryptocurrency and NFTs on Google Trends.

This data can be an effective way to showcase how specific audiences have gained or lost interest in a topic over a set period of time.

Google Charts

If you already have data that you need to plot into charts, Google Charts under Google’s development tools is a great way to do that. It allows you to import data which you can create visualizations from and then place on your website.

It’s free and completely customizable. It also has a gallery you can browse for examples of available charts, which can help you decide which is best for your data.

Screenshot of Google Charts options. Top row: Geo Chart, Scatter Chart, Column Chart. Bottom row: Histogram, Bar Chart, Combo Chart.

This tool may require more developer knowledge since you’ll have to HTML5 and other code to pull in the data.

Additionally, Google Data Studio is similar to Google Charts, where you can import several different data sources to create graphics and live charts based on API-connected data. However, it is focused more on providing an internal data dashboard rather than public-facing charts for content pages.

Moz

If you’re looking to share keyword research or search data over time, consider using Moz. Moz Pro allows you to track your campaign data over time (as well as research competitors), and the suite of free tools lets you view data on specific keywords or links.

Screenshot of Moz Keyword Explorer results for keyword "chromebooks"

This data analysis can be used in marketing pieces to describe trends in search over time, or you can use this type of data in your internal stakeholder content, such as when you want to illustrate the success of your organic content campaigns or how the number of links to specific pages has increased over time since you started updating old posts.

Tableau

Tableau is arguably the most well-known data visualization tool available. It has paid and free versions. The free version, Tableau Public, requires a software download, but then lets you create data visualizations for free (with some limitations that are lifted in the paid version).

To see some of the data visualizations that were created using Tableau, they have their free 3D VizGallery that lets you walk through a 3D “art gallery” of real projects. Here’s an example covering “Work Like an Artist: Daily Routines of Famous Creatives” from a user who adapted information from books on creatives’ work schedules by Mason Currey, Wikipedia, and blog posts.

Example Tableau report showing pie graphs for different composers and artists.

External data from company user data

If you were looking for data from large companies, many make some of their data public, which can be pulled to create a data analysis or trend report over time. Two good examples of this are:

Spotify Charts

If you want to see how specific music or other media hosted on Spotify is performing over time, check out Spotify Charts, which shows you trends in specific genres of music or by country.

Amazon Sales Data

You can also view trends in Amazon products, such as its best-selling books list or lists of top-selling products in specific categories. External tools, like Amzscout, pull this data to help you see how specific products are selling over time.

Pivot tables

If you want the most simple way to chart your raw data, don’t discount the power of pivot tables and charts in Excel or Google Sheets. These can automatically provide you with charts and other data graphics fast, right within your saved data spreadsheet. There are lots of resources to create effective charts and graphics. It’s important to note Google Sheets may have slightly different formula functions than Excel in some cases.

In conclusion

To learn more about storytelling with data, don’t forget to review our recently updated Learn Center page. Whether you are using a simpler tool like Google Sheets or want to build a beautifully-designed infographic in Tableau, data visualization is a great way to further your storytelling narrative by illustrating your point and growing users’ understanding of the topic at hand.

To see more examples of great data visualizations, check out Juice Analytics’ thoughtful roundup of examples across several different topics and industries.

Reblogged 1 week ago from moz.com

Your guide to the first 90 days as an enterprise SEO director

If you’ve enjoyed every SEO job you’ve had in the first 90 days, kindly remove yourself from this article for being a liar. 

We good? Awesome. 

Did you know that 33% of employees quit their job within the first 90 days that they’re employed. 

That’s a sobering fact. 

The kind that makes you want to get not-sober as you kickstart for your first 90 days as an enterprise SEO Director. 

Enterprise SEO departments have a high turnover rate due to cultural challenges because other departments don’t understand SEO or how to work together. 

At the risk of stating the obvious, your first 90 days as an enterprise SEO Director sets the stage for the rest of your time at the company. 

Have you found yourself asking these questions before:

  • How do you make a business use case for more budget for SEO?
  • How do you scale your enterprise SEO department? 
  • How do develop alignment with Product and Editorial? 

Over the next few articles, I’ll help you answer these (and more) questions, based on my experience as an enterprise SEO Director. Starting with

Become a strategic player

In due time, you can show up to Zoom meetings acting like “the champ is here,” but not in the first 90 days.  

You’ve got massive plans afoot for an SEO makeover for your enterprise company. 

  • Site architecture changes.
  • Removing old content.
  • Possibly building a new website.

It’s a lot to take in.

So I recommend starting with developing relationships. You want your enterprise SEO department to be seen as a strategic player on a bigger team. 

Allow me to paint you a picture. 

It’s your second week as the new SEO Director. SEO is a brand new department at the enterprise company. Everyone is excited to have you join the team. 

Until you start to notice other departments are already doing SEO, but do not realize they are doing SEO. 

In the second month as the new SEO Director, you present your observations of the challenges and offer new solutions to the executive team. Your presentation goes well. 

Later, you find out those other departments are not happy with you presenting the challenges you see in their department. 

This is not what you want to see in your first 90 days as a new enterprise SEO Director. This is a common problem SEO professionals face as SEO is still relatively new in enterprise companies. 

SEO Directors need to position themselves as a strategic partner that flows and moves with other departments. 

You will lose credibility and trust without empathy

Getting SEO done on a website with millions of webpages requires other teams’ resources. 

Enterprise SEO teams are never self-contained. Instead, SEO departments lean on the resources of other departments to get things done. 

The hardest part of my job as an enterprise SEO Director is selling SEO to other teams. I have to persuade other teams that my goals can help impact their goals. 

So how do we find common ground?

The key to finding common ground with empathy. 

You need to understand what your engineering, editorial, design and other teams care about. You need to look at their goals and priorities and build your goals and priorities to align with them. 

If you come to the table with audits, deliverables and recommendations, you start to lose social capital. You’re turning people off by getting too into the SEO terminology weeds. 

For example, instead of saying “I need to set the SEO strategy,” say “I need to align our SEO strategy with your work so my team can make better decisions.” 

Let’s say that the marketing team’s Q3 goal is to scale the international audience. 

As an SEO, you might see opportunities in site architecture, page layouts and technical improvements. 

Ask yourself: Are there SEO improvements we can make that support the scaling of international audiences? 

You need to overlap your SEO opportunities with the marketing team’s strategy. 

But your deliverable is documentation of the process into the strategy. You don’t want to skew the conversation by talking about deliverables as audits or keyword research. Your communication is the deliverable. 

Your SEO deliverables don’t exist for change. Your SEO deliverables exist to create documentation and standardize the process. 

This way of looking at SEO deliverables will help set the landscape to get the resources you need to execute in your first 90 days. You may need to negotiate for resources.

As the SEO lead, you want to communicate that you understand the strategic initiative and that your strategy supports it. 

My SEO Director 30-60-90-day plan

Days 1–30

Focus: Learning

Priorities: Get up to speed on needs and challenges for the Content and SEO team and [Company Name] as a company. Understand the expectations [Your Boss’s Name] has for me, learn how the internal processes and procedures currently work, and start to explore some of the challenges facing [Company Name] and Content and SEO.

Learning goals:

  • Read all of the relevant internal materials available to me. Ask across teams for recommendations of articles, reports, and studies I should review. Get up to speed on [Company Name] as a company and the industry. Gain product knowledge. (Metric: Reading completed)
  • Get access to the accounts (email, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Asana, Workfront, Contentful, Google Drive, WordPress, etc.) I’ll need to do my job. Spend time familiarizing myself with each of them. Determine what tools/software we are missing. (Metric: Task completed)
  • Listen to 10 recorded customer calls (good and bad). (Metric: 10 customer calls listened to)
  • Understand the need for my open roles to adjust job descriptions if needed. Align with interviews and questions for each interview. (Metric: Task completed)

Performance goals:

  • Organize the Content and SEO tech stack. (Metric: Establish a list of tools, budget and logins)
  • Kickstart content inventory research and recommendations on the top 25 pages. (Metric: Content Audit completed on top 25)
  • Initiate Technical SEO research and break down priorites-based team org structures (Ex: thin content edits to the editorial team, sitemap tweaks to engineering team) and recommendations for the overall health of the website. (Metric: SEO research completed with top 10 priorities)
  • Dive into a Competitor Analysis that is focused on content and SEO only. (Metric: Competitor Audit of top 5 competitors completed)
  • Begin to build and document Content & SEO Strategy for FY2022 through the next 3 years based on audit findings. (Metric: Task completed)
  • Prepare content style guide and deployment checklist to align with SEO best practices. (Metric: Task completed) 

Personal goals:

  • Meet with [Your Boss’s Name] and key stakeholders from product, engineering, editorial, PR, etc. Introduce myself and learn about their roles within the organization. (Metric: Ten meetings held)
  • Set up recurring meetings with everyone I’ll need to work with on a regular basis—including cross-functional and external partners. (Metric: Regular meetings set and attended)

Days 31–60

Focus: Contributing

Priorities: Perform my role as Director of SEO at full capacity, with a decreased need for guidance. Start to explore how I can make a unique impact within the SEO channels and [Company Name].

Learning goals:

  • Analyze current SEO performance so far and establish key metrics and benchmarks I care about (sales, leads, revenue, etc.) and share findings across departments and key stakeholders. (Metric: Task completed)
  • Explore Content and SEO workflow improvements to document in SEO strategy. (Metric: Task completed)
  • Listen to five recorded customer calls (good and bad). (Metric: Five customer calls listened to)
  • Continue to work with the Talent team to review candidates for the open roles. (Metric: Task completed)

Performance goals:

  • Create a Wiki page SEO tech stack for future reference and guidance. (Metric: Task completed)
  • Share Content research and initial findings (and Competitor Analysis) and recommendations on the top 25 pages to teams and align across departments to tackle recommendations. (Metric: Content Calendar created with research findings included in workflow along with Best Practices documented in Wiki)
  • Share Technical SEO research (and Competitor Analysis) and recommendations for the overall health of the website to teams and align across departments to tackle recommendations. (Metric: Get recommendations in team queues for completion (i.e. Sprints, Asana, Jira, etc.))
  • Continue to build and document SEO Strategy for FY2022 through the next 3 years based on audit findings. (Metric: Task completed)
  • Begin Backlink SEO research (and Competitor Analysis) along with recommendations. (Metric: Competitor Audit of top 5 competitors completed)

Personal goals:

  • Schedule coffee or lunch with someone from the company I haven’t gotten to know yet. (Metric: Task completed)

Days 61–90

Focus: Taking initiative

Priorities: Start assuming more autonomy and finding small ways to practice leadership skills. Start to explore SEO goals for the rest of the year.

Learning goals:

  • Work with the Analytics team to establish consistent automated reporting. (Metric: Task completed)
  • Listen to five recorded customer calls (good and bad). (Metric: Five customer calls listened to)
  • Continue to work with the Talent team to review/hire candidates for the open roles. (Metric: Task completed)

Performance goals:

  • Kickstart quarterly content research projects based on website ownership.
    • Onboard Blog Content Manager to kickstart quarterly content research for the blogs. 
  • Establish monthly, quarterly and yearly goals for the SEO team. (Metric: TBD)
  • Share SEO Strategy for FY2022 and beyond (hiring, resources, prioritization, etc.). This will include key findings from the research along with a content calendar, technical SEO project roadmap, and reporting metrics (content, technical, backlinks). 
  • Sync with PR and Social teams to begin to talk about an Influencer/Ambassador strategy. (Metric: Task completed)
  • Develop a Content Distribution Playbook to work across departments. (Metric: Task completed)
  • Develop a Technical SEO Playbook to work across departments. (Metric: Task completed)

Personal goals:

  • Schedule coffee or lunch with someone from the company I haven’t gotten to know yet. (Metric: Task completed)

Your first 90 Days as an SEO Director is a fresh start for you and your company

Most enterprise companies don’t have an SEO strategy at an executive level.

During your first 90 days, you want to build a foundation for your SEO strategy that aligns with the bigger marketing and product strategy. 

The post Your guide to the first 90 days as an enterprise SEO director appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Reblogged 1 week ago from searchengineland.com

GA4 brings new and familiar concepts to the future of analytics

Many of the same concepts that you may be used to from Universal Analytics exist in Google Analytics 4. There are, however, several new concepts to GA4.

This article will detail some familiar and not-so-familiar concepts that GA4 brings to the table.

If you’re new to GA4, I’d encourage you to first check out this article to get up to speed on some of the differences between Universal Analytics and GA4, otherwise, read on. 

Similar concepts, slightly different application

Let’s start with the familiar by looking at concepts that exist in both Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4.

But first, a small caveat: Universal Analytics has the ability to filter data in a robust manner at the view level. Google Analytics 4 only has a few filters currently available at the property level (there are no views in GA4), and so any differences you may see in your data should keep your current UA filters in mind. 

With that being said, let’s dive into some familiar metrics:

Users

In Universal Analytics, the Users metric looks at the total number of users during the selected time period. In Google Analytics 4, the Users metric is actually split into two: Total Users and Active Users.

Active Users is the primary Users metric in GA4 and what you will see used in the default reports within the GA4 UI. Active Users are the users during the time period that have had an engaging session on your site in the past 28 days.

For most sites, these numbers will likely be close. But if you see differences between UA and GA4, this could be a reason why.

Sessions

In Universal Analytics, a session is a period of time that a user is actively engaged with your site. There are several things that may end a session, such as an inactive 30-minute time period, a change of UTMs or the session breaking at midnight.

In Google Analytics 4, a session is determined via the session_start event. GA4 does not restart a session with a change of UTMs and does not break the session at midnight, but it does look for an inactive time period of 30+ minutes to restart the session.

Due to the varying ways a session is started between the two property types, total session counts may look quite different between UA and GA4 depending on how often you may have been subject to the restart criteria in UA – definitely keep this in mind as you compare numbers between the two platforms. 

Pageviews

These should be pretty similar concepts between UA and GA4. The biggest difference here is that if you are using GA4 to track both app and web, GA4 combines the pageview and screenview metrics into Views. If you are only tracking web for both UA and GA4, the numbers should look pretty consistent between platforms.  

Less familiar concepts

Conversions

Conversions are the new Goals, but please note that they are not equal.

A Conversion in GA4 is simply an event that has been marked as a conversion. This is as simple as toggling a button on or off to note that the event is now a conversion. 

Two main things to be aware of here for the differences between Goals in UA and Conversions in GA4:

  • Goals in UA counted only once per session. That means that even if the goal occurred multiple times in the same session, for example, a goal fired each time a form was completed, and a particular user completed three forms in one session, it would only count as one goal completion. In GA4, the conversion will fire every time the event has been satisfied, so in the same example, it would count as three conversions in the same session. 
  • In UA, you could create a goal based on several factors: destination, duration, pages/screens per session, event and smart goals. In GA4, Conversions can only be based on events. This means that you’ll need to get creative, such as creating an event for a specific destination/page, to convert some of your goals to events. Audience Triggers are another thing to consider for things like duration goals. 

Engaged sessions

This is a new concept to GA4. An Engaged Session is defined as “the number of sessions that lasted longer than 10 seconds, had a conversion event, or had at least two pageviews or screenviews.”

This new metric allows you to get a better understanding of the sessions that are higher quality and/or more engaged on your site content. Engagement Rate is the percentage of Engaged Sessions. The inverse of Engagement Rate is Bounce Rate (see below). 

A blending of the two

Bounce Rate

I need to start this one off by saying that I have never been a fan of bounce rate (or time on site metrics for similar reasons). I think that there are many places where the bounce rate calculation in Universal Analytics can lead you astray in your analysis. Simo Ahava even has a funny little website dedicated to showing you what a good bounce rate is.  

But I do recognize that some businesses (especially verticals like Publishers) rely heavily on Bounce Rate. And I know SEOs tend to like this metric.

Google recognizes the need for this metric too. That is why just this month, they’ve released Bounce Rate back into the wild of GA4 (it had previously been considered a deprecated metric for GA4/wasn’t built into GA4 initially). 

Here is where I need to stress that this is NOT the same bounce rate that you had in Universal Analytics.

Not.

At.

All. 

In Universal Analytics, Bounce Rate was “the percentage of single-page sessions in which there was no interaction with the page.” Every “bounced” session had a duration of 0 seconds for the total time on site calculation. This meant that even if a user came to your website, hung around for 5 minutes reading every word on your home page, but didn’t click on anything or cause any other event or pageview to trigger, they would be considered a bounce.

To say this metric was flawed is an understatement.

In GA4, Bounce Rate is a simple calculation that is the inverse of Engagement Rate. Earlier, I mentioned “Engaged Sessions” – 10 seconds or more than one event or pageview. These are the basis of Engagement Rate. This means that Bounce Rate is the percentage of sessions that are considered to be not engaged.  

Why does this matter?

Bounce Rate is now a much more useful metric to show you how many people did not engage with your website. The people who came, read everything on your homepage for 5 minutes and then left are now considered an engaged session, so they will not be counted as a bounce. 

While imperfect, it’s a much better definition of what a bounce actually is, helping you as the analyst to better understand who is and who is not engaging with your site content.

Hurray for improved metrics in GA4!

The post GA4 brings new and familiar concepts to the future of analytics appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Reblogged 1 week ago from searchengineland.com

Google releases July 2022 product reviews update

Google has begun the rollout of the fourth version of the product reviews update, a search ranking algorithm update targeted at ranking product review-related content on the web that is most helpful and useful to searchers. The first product reviews update was launched on April 8, 2021, the second was launched on December 1, 2021, the third has been released on March 23, 2022, and now the fourth has been released on July 27, 0222. The new is named the July 2022 product reviews update.

Google announced this update on Twitter referencing the standard help document around how to write product reviews.

Google product reviews update. The Google product reviews update aims to promote review content that is above and beyond much of the templated information you see on the web. Google said it will promote these types of product reviews in its search results rankings.

Google is not directly punishing lower-quality product reviews that have “thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products.” However, if you provide such content and find your rankings demoted because other content is promoted above yours, it will definitely feel like a penalty. Technically, according to Google, this is not a penalty against your content, Google is just rewarding sites with more insightful review content with rankings above yours.

Technically, this update should only impact product review content and not other types of content.

What is new. Unlike the March product reviews update, it seems nothing specifically changed with any ranking criteria with this update. Google is likely just refreshing the algorithm and making slight adjustments.

The rollout. This rollout will take “take 2-3 weeks to complete,” Google said. These, and core updates, normally take a few weeks to roll out, so that should be no surprise. You should expect the bulk of the ranking volatility to happen in the earlier stages of this rollout.

What is impacted? Google said this update may in the future impact those who “create product reviews in any language,” but Google said the initial rollout will be “English-language product reviews.” Google added they have seen “positive effects” from this update in the past and the search company “plans to open up product review support for more languages” in the future.

Please note that these updates can be very big, almost as big as core updates.

Previous advice on the product reviews update. The “focus overall is on providing users with content that provides insightful analysis and original research, content written by experts or enthusiasts who know the topic well,” Google said about this update. That is similar advice to the core update recommendations mentioned above, but here is a list of “additional useful questions to consider in terms of product reviews.” Google recommends your product reviews cover these areas and answer these questions. Do your product reviews…

  • Express expert knowledge about products where appropriate?
  • Show what the product is like physically, or how it is used, with unique content beyond what’s provided by the manufacturer?
  • Provide quantitative measurements about how a product measures up in various categories of performance?
  • Explain what sets a product apart from its competitors?
  • Cover comparable products to consider, or explain which products might be best for certain uses or circumstances?
  • Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of a particular product, based on research into it?
  • Describe how a product has evolved from previous models or releases to provide improvements, address issues, or otherwise help users in making a purchase decision?
  • Identify key decision-making factors for the product’s category and how the product performs in those areas? For example, a car review might determine that fuel economy, safety, and handling are key decision-making factors and rate performance in those areas.
  • Describe key choices in how a product has been designed and their effect on the users beyond what the manufacturer says?
  • Provide evidence such as visuals, audio, or other links of your own experience with the product, to support your expertise and reinforce the authenticity of your review.
  • Include links to multiple sellers to give the reader the option to purchase from their merchant of choice.

Google also linked to its blog post from earlier this year named providing better product information for shoppers.

Google added three new points of new advice for this third release of the products reviews update:

  • Are product review updates relevant to ranked lists and comparison reviews? Yes. Product review updates apply to all forms of review content. The best practices we’ve shared also apply. However, due to the shorter nature of ranked lists, you may want to demonstrate expertise and reinforce authenticity in a more concise way. Citing pertinent results and including original images from tests you performed with the product can be good ways to do this.
  • Are there any recommendations for reviews recommending “best” products? If you recommend a product as the best overall or the best for a certain purpose, be sure to share with the reader why you consider that product the best. What sets the product apart from others in the market? Why is the product particularly suited for its recommended purpose? Be sure to include supporting first-hand evidence.
  • If I create a review that covers multiple products, should I still create reviews for the products individually? It can be effective to write a high-quality ranked list of related products in combination with in-depth single-product reviews for each recommended product.  If you write both, make sure there is enough useful content in the ranked list for it to stand on its own.

Not a core update. Google also previously said that product review updates are not the same as core updates. This is a standalone update they’re calling the product reviews update. This is separate from Google’s regular core updates, the company told us. Nonetheless, Google did add that the advice it originally provided for core updates, “about producing quality content for those is also relevant here.” In addition to that advice, Google provided additional guidance specific to this update.

Why we care. If your website offers product review content, you will want to check your rankings to see if you were impacted. Did your Google organic traffic improve, decline, or stay the same?

Long term, you are going to want to ensure that going forward, you put a lot more detail and effort into your product review content so that it is unique and stands out from the competition on the web.

Also, those impacted by previous core updates, that put in the work, may be rewarded by this July 2022 product reviews update.

The post Google releases July 2022 product reviews update appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Reblogged 1 week ago from searchengineland.com